Before the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s making candy was only done at home during the holidays or by professional candy makers in small specialized shops. Candy was very expensive and considered quite a luxury.
During and after the Industrial Revolution, candy became affordable and more readily available.
Competition became fierce, and large advertising campaigns were started. candy was often named after people such as…
- Baby Ruth—Supposedly this candy bar was not named after the legendary baseball player after all….but for Ruth Cleveland, President Cleveland’s daughter.
- Oh Henry!—The “Oh Henry! Bar” was originally named for Tom Henry, the owner of a candy factory in Kansas. He created this candy bar in 1919 and named it after himself…obviously…In 1920 the rights to the Tom Henry bar were bought, and the bar was renamed it the “Oh Henry!” for publicity purposes….O. Henry…
- Tootsie Roll and Tootsie Pop—Leo Hirshfield named the product after his daughter, Clara, whom he called Tootsie.
Making candy involves boiling sugar with water or milk until the sugar dissolves and the sugar concentration of the mixture reaches the temperature needed for the type of candy that you are making.
The texture and type of candy depends on the ingredients and sugar concentration..lin other words, how long the mixture is boiled.
There are several stages or temperature ranges that determine the type of candy made, including…
- 1. Thread or syrup stage
- 2. Soft ball or fudge stage
- 3. Firm ball or soft caramel candy stage
- 4. Hard ball or nougat stage
- 5. Soft crack or salt water taffy stage
- 6. Hard crack or toffee stage
- 7. Clear liquid stage
- 8. Brown liquid or liquid caramel stage
- 9. Burnt sugar stage
1. Thread Stage—The thread or syrup stage is met when the candy thermometer reads 230°F.
Line 8″ square pan with foil. Grease the foil with butter. In a large saucepan, bring the following ingredients to a boil…
- 1C sugar
- 3/4C light corn syrup
- 2oz unsweetened chocolate chips
Stir until smooth. Add 1/2C heavy cream. Stir constantly until candy thermometer reads 234 degrees. Add another 1/2C cream. Return mixture to 234 degrees, stirring constantly. Add the remaining 1/2c cream. Cook until temperature reaches 248 degrees. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Let sit overnight. Lift candy out of the pan, using foil to lift. Remove foil. Cut into 1″ squares. Wrap individual pieces in waxed paper, twisting the ends.
2. Soft Ball—The soft ball or fudge stage is reached when the candy thermometer reads 235°F.
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Bring the following to a boil…
- 1C sugar
- 1/2C water
- Pinch fine sea salt
Cook until thermometer reads 238ºF.Remove from heat. Stir in 3/4C green pumpkin seeds with a wooden spoon. Stir 5min. Return pan to medium heat. Cook stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Pour hot mixture onto parchment paper covered surface. Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper. Roll mixture between two sheets as thinly as possible with rolling pin. Let cool until firm. Break into pieces. Cool brittle completely Melt 3/4C bittersweet chocolate chips in microwave. Dip cooled brittle in chocolate. Sprinkle with 1/4C chopped pumpkin seeds and large-flake sea salt. Let cool until chocolate is firm.
3. Firm Ball—The firm ball or soft caramel candy stage is met when the candy thermometer reads 245 °F.
Prepare 9×13. In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine…
- 1C butter
- 1# light brown sugar
- 114oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1C light corn syrup
- 1 pinch salt
Cook until thermometer reads 245 degrees. Remove from heat. Add 1 1/2tsp vanilla. Pour mixture into the buttered pan. Let cool overnight. Remove from pan. Cut into squares. Wrap pieces in waxed paper.
4. Hard Ball-–The hard ball or nougat stage is reached when the candy thermometer reads 250 °F.
Lightly grease and line bottom and sides of 9 x 13. In a large heavy saucepan, combine…
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely ground espresso powder
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
Cook until mixture has reached a temperature of 250. Remove from heat. Stir in 1tsp vanilla and 1/2tsp sea salt. Pour mixture into prepared tray. Let sit overnight. Slice into 1 1/4″ squares. Wrap each piece in waxed paper.